Chip Shortage Hits Apple iPad, Mac Production – Report

Apple has reportedly postponed the production of a number of its Macbook and iPad devices, due to the global chip shortage.

This is according to Nikkei Asia, which reported that even with Apple’s massive procurement clout, it is struggling to source enough components, suggesting an even tighter squeeze on the silicon supply chain in the coming months.

The chip shortage was first felt by car makers around the world, but even firms such as Samsung, which one of the biggest chip makers in the world, has repeatedly warned the chip shortage will delay the launch of smartphone devices.

Some analysts are warning of a chip supply crisis, which is impacting the production of cars, computers, phones, televisions and other electrical devices.

Apple delay

Nikkei Asia citing sources briefed on the matter, stated that chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production.

The sources also warned that some iPad assembly was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components.

As a result of the delay, Apple has reportedly pushed back a portion of component orders for the two devices from the first half of this year to the second half,

Nikkei Asia reported that so far Apple’s production plans for its iPhones have not been affected by the supply shortage.

However, the supply of some components for the devices is reportedly “quite tight”.

The shortage of components remains a supply chain issue for Apple, but has not yet impacted any product availability for consumers, Nikkei added.

But it is clear there are significant concerns. One of Apple’s main manufacturers, Foxconn, has also warned of the chip shortage affecting supply chains to clients.

Global shortage

The US government has become increasingly alarmed at the global chip shortages that has forced car makers and other manufacturers to limit production.

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on 24 February to tackle a number of pressing shortages for four critical products.

That included semiconductor chips, electric vehicle batteries and rare earth minerals.

President Biden also announced he would seek $37 billion in funding to ‘supercharge’ chip manufacturing in the United States.

Car production

The car industry has been warning for a while now about the silicon shortage.

Last month General Motors confirmed it would again extend production cuts at three North American plants, and added a fourth to the list of factories hit.

That came after GM had already extended its production cuts at three North American factories.

German car maker VW in January publicly blamed poor planning by chip makers as the principle reason for most car brands having to to reduce factory production.

Audi (part of the Volkswagen group) also warned it was having to slow production because of the chip shortage, forcing it to make 10,000 fewer cars in the first quarter of the year and putting more than 10,000 workers on furlough.

Daimler (which makes Mercedes), Fiat, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota all reportedly have had to suspend production for days or weeks at a time.

That said, Toyota and Hyundai are less impacted by the chip shortage as they both managed to stockpile chips ahead of the shortage.

Mazda also warned it would cut its global output by 7,000 vehicles in February and March.

Ford meanwhile warned the chip shortage could lead to a 10 to 20 percent loss in first-quarter production, which could impact profits by as much as $2.5 billion.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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